- Neuroscience and Human Biology
- Graduation year:
- Mishawaka, IN
Q&A with Cody
What is it like for you being on a floor full of Education majors when you are not an Education major?
Going back to my first year, as a freshman, I was randomly placed on the floor. It was initially very intimidating. Obviously, I adjusted and I made some friends on the floor and it was fine but it definitely motivated me to come back as a Peer Leader. My goal for this year was to increase community and be the peer mentor for all those non-Education majors that got randomly assigned because I wanted them to feel welcome too. That was my main goal for being a peer mentor this year.
Did living on the floor help with your transition as a first year?
I definitely think it made things easier. Being on the INSPIRE floor, everyone still had that sense of community and tried to talk to each other, which is different to the experience of other people I know who lived on general floors. It definitely helped with getting me out. I tried to go to some events when I could.
Do you feel like any INSPIRE activities have benefited you?
There have been a lot of events we do where we all just work together and just working together, in general, is a good skill to learn. I used to always dread group projects in High School because I had a way that I wanted something to look and if it wasn't my way I didn't feel complete. So, I think it's good to have that experience and work with other people, and also just to be a part of something.
What are some of the experiences you have enjoyed as part of this community?
The events in general and being around with everyone. Even the planning. It's really interesting to see everyone's perspective and the ideas they pull in. Right now, we are planning our mental health week. I also liked the circus equipment event. We did it for Welcome Week and it was a lot of fun.The lady who ran it, Anne Dorwin, went to IU for Neuroscience and so afterward she explained from a psychological perspective why the circus equipment helps. I was super interested at that point and I was able to connect with her afterward.
On the INSPIRE floor, everyone had that sense of community and tried to talk to each other, which is different from the experience of other people I know who lived on general floors. It definitely helped with getting me out.
Let's talk about being a Peer Leader. Does it take a lot of time?
To me, it seems more natural than like a chore. I am always checking in with my mentees and wanting to help them in any way I can. I try to socialize with them as much as I can. I don't feel like I have to try to do it, it just comes naturally.
What are some of the main responsibilities?
Making yourself available is a big one. Making yourself approachable and making your mentees feel like they can come talk to you if they have any questions. Don't distance yourself.
How have you brought your experience as a non-Education major to bear in your current role?
I try and look at the broad aspect of everything and how it can benefit someone who is not in education. I also look at it as I'm still learning myself, so it still has something to do with me even though I don't want to be an educator.
What skills does one need to become a Peer Leader?
Communication is probably one of the biggest things. Simply being able to hold a conversation. If you are someone who is super introverted and just can't put themselves out there, especially if you're dealing with a freshman then it won't work. They are not in their environment anymore so you have to be the person to draw them out.
Do you have any advice for people that might want to apply to INSPIRE?
Don't be afraid. If you think it's somewhere that you want to be, it's a good floor to live on. If you're interested in Education then it's definitely a good place for you.